foretopman

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

foretop +‎ -man

Noun[edit]

foretopman ‎(plural foretopmen)

  1. (nautical) A sailor who controls the masts in the foretop.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 12, [1]
      It was a warm night for the latitude; and the Foretopman, whose watch at the time was properly below, was dozing on the uppermost deck whither he had ascended from his hot hammock
    • 2009 March 8, Alessandra Stanley, “The Vanishing Sidekick”, in New York Times[2]:
      WHEN Jimmy Fallon showed up on NBC ’s “Late Night” last week without a sidekick, it looked like yet another sign that the Ed McMahon era is over; so many talk show hosts work solo that the second-banana position seems almost as obsolete as the foretopman or the Linotype operator.